CELEBRATE COMMUNITY: Preserving history

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JENNIE McKEON @JennieMnwfdn

VALPARAISO — At the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, it takes a community to preserve local history.

Gina Marini said it would be impossible to do her job without the kindness from donors and local businesses. When the air conditioning unit broke down recently, she was at a loss of what to do.

“The unit was about 30 years old,” Marini said. “It wasn’t keeping the moisture out. We have to keep the collections room at a certain temperature to safeguard the artifacts.”

A new AC unit is a big expense for any small nonprofit, but the museum had no choice. However when Marini called Tempacure she was surprised to find that the Niceville business offered a new air conditioning unit complete with a dehumidifier and air purifier at no charge.

“That’s tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and labor,” Marini said. “They’re helping to save history.”

All over Northwest Florida, community partners help keep the museum going, Marini said. As it gears up for its 42nd Annual Saturday in the Park, the museum has received help from the local Southwind Pest and Termite control to get rid of fire ants. Marini said those in-kind donations go a long way in helping to the museum.

“It means the world to us,” she said.

The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida has been preserving local history for 45 years. Alongside exhibits and tours, the it hosts educational programs and craft classes for all ages.

Marini said it there’s room for any business or individual to support the museum. Anyone can contribute by purchasing a museum membership — perks include free museum admission, gift shop discounts and exclusive invitations. You can also volunteer your time.

For more information, visit heritage-museum.org.

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